15+ Best Antique Hairbrush : A Hairstylist's Choice

by Lauren Gilmore
[ Hair Stylist and Educator ]

These are the top 4 antique hairbrushes that I think are truly beautiful!

Did you know that hairbrushes really aren’t that old?

They really came into their own in the late 1700’s designed by a man called William Kent, in England.

Since then many brands have bought out some stunning, timeless hairbrushes and some are real works of art!

In my professional opinion hair brushing is really a big part of our daily routine, we brush our hair in the morning, before bed, sometimes even in between.

Finding the right brush for us is a big deal!

What are antique hairbrushes?

Brushes have always been an important tool when it comes to hair, they have been used throughout the centuries to create some iconic hairstyles.

Although the technology has been adapted over the years the general design of the brushes have stayed the same.

These are a few of the most popular style of brushes:

  • Military Style Hairbrush:
    These brushes sit in the palm of the hand and use natural bristles to brush through the hair.
  • Combination Brushes:
    Samuel Firey submitted the patent for a hairbrush with a combination of wire teeth and natural bristles in 1870.
  • Vented Hairbrush:
    Lyda Newman modified the synthetic paddle brush in 1898 by adding vented chambers to it to aid in both cleaning of and hair removal from the brush's bristles.

    Companies such as Kent, and Mason Pearson developed some beautiful brushes over the years, that are still considered premium brushes in the hair industry today. You may read our comparison post on - Mason Pearson junior vs popular.

    Antique brushes are generally made of the following materials:


  • Wood
  • Ivory
  • Silver
  • Brass
  • Celluloid
  • Bakelite
  • Plastic


  • Boars hair
  • Whalebone
  • Horse hair
  • Metal wire
  • Plastic

Over time these materials have been developed to nylonplasticnatural bristle, and many more

Let’s take a look at some antique brushes, and what is available on the market now.

Kent Brushes:

Kent brushes were founded in 1777 by William Kent, they have produced some beautiful brushes throughout the years, some even serving soldiers in World War I.

Most of these brushes are made by hand!

In recent years they have adapted their designs and started using more sustainable materials.

Kent Classic Boar Bristle Brush

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This is one of the brushes that is currently on the market, it is a premium brush that still has some features from the original, it leaves the hair feeling softshiny and smooth.

Mason Pearson Brushes:

Mason Pearson has been around now for over 130 years; at the time all the brushes were made by hand.

The basic product has barely changed since the 1920s and some of the original model names are still with us today: Large ExtraSmall ExtraPopular and Junior.

Mason Pearson do tend to adopt the combination brush style, as they combine boar bristles and nylon in a lot of their brushes.

Mason Pearson Nylon Brush

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This is one of the most popular brushes, it has a real luxury feel to it, which leaves the hair feeling smooth and frizz free.

Military Style Brushes:

Military hairbrushes are basically round or oval hairbrushes without a handle. It's a style of brush that has been in use as far back as the 1700s.

Traditionally these brushes were made of hardwood handles with wild boar brushes, their handle-free design was created for easy storage in rucksacks on the march, making them portable and functional, they were ideal for military men on the move. (also check other Men’s Hair Brushes)

The tightly packed bristles helped stimulate the scalp, spread healthy oils, and give the hair shine.

These brushes are still very popular! Companies such as Kent still use this design in their Men’s hair care range.

Recently companies have mimicked the same style of brush for example, the Tangle Teezer, the overall design of the brush is the same, except the materials it is made from.

These are a few of the military style brushes available now:

Kent MN11 Finest Men's Hair Brush

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TANGLE TEEZER Wet or Dry Detangling Hairbrush

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Diane Nylon Oval Palm Softy Brush

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Vent Brushes:

The vent brush was very popular in the 80s. It is made from lighter plastic brush and has holes for air to stream through and knobs on the bristles to soften the effect of the hard plastic. This brush was good for applying mousse and lifting the roots to get big scrunch-dries and other 80’s styles!

This brush is still extremely popular in the hair industry and it used mainly for shorter styles to achieve a looser finish.

These are a few of my favorite vent brushes:

Denman Flexible Vent Brush

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Vent Hair Brush for Blow Drying

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Revlon Quick Dry & Volume Vented Berry Hair Brush

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As you can see hairbrushes haven’t really changed all that much over the years!

Some of the real antique brushes from centuries ago may still be found on antique sites. However, some of the main manufacturers of brushes are still making them now, and they still hold a lot of the same qualities!

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